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Are your employees proud of their workplace?

10 Aug. 2020

In a constantly evolving society, the mode of work is quickly changing, and organizations that are not sufficiently agile are regularly forced out of business.

Kristina image_resize1


She is the Director of Employee Marketing and Internal Communications at the magical resort- Atlantis, The Palm, where she heads a team responsible for thousands of employee engagement initiatives, that are paramount to the retention of 3200 employees.

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Experts predict that 50% of occupations that exist today, will no longer be relevant by 2025. In an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment (VUCA), leaders are constantly evaluating different approaches to staying in business.

We live in an era of abundance. An era where it is increasingly challenging to create business differentiation in order to achieve incremental financial results and success. Companies are constantly looking for unique selling points. Fostering psychological engagement and encouraging emotional investment from human capital is one such competitive advantage.

Due to workplace and societal changes, individuals are becoming increasingly disengaged at work and are looking for a place where they can derive greater self-actualization. Longer working hours, work intensification, burnout, ineffective leadership and most recently- downsizing have caused a rise in employee cynicism and mistrust. In 2020 more than ever, businesses must develop approaches that create resilient teams, enhance achievement, improve creativity, innovation, wellbeing and employee engagement.

In my 12+ years of experience in the field of human resources, employee engagement and internal communications as well as through my studies in positive psychology- there is one thing that I know for sure!

Employee engagement is paramount to organisational success. But how does an organisation drive employee engagement with the purpose of improved business outcomes?

Workplaces can shape the extent to which employees feel engaged by fostering the necessary conditions for engagement to thrive. Research has demonstrated that engagement is not static; rather, it is state-like and trait-like, and an employee’s experience of the workplace at different moments in time can cause fluctuations in engagement. This enables employers to create an environment where engagement can flourish. The necessary conditions for this to happen are meaningfulness, safety and availability.

1. Meaningfulness: Does the employee find their work meaningful enough to warrant them engaging their full self?
2. Safety: Does the employee feel safe expressing themselves without negative consequences?
3. Availability: Is the employee mentally and physically able to harness their full self?

Individuals and organisations benefit when people are oriented to experiencing meaningfulness at work. How are meaningful work experiences cultivated for employees? One way to encourage employee engagement is through applying positive psychology interventions at the workplace. Here are some practical, tried and tested ways that I have used, that have led to impressive results.

Create a thriving culture of gratitude, that aims to focus team members towards what they have and what they should be appreciative of.

Set an organisational strategy to support and cultivate wellbeing; this includes ensuring internal policies are aligned to wellbeing principles, enabling employees to utilise their strengths, setting SMART goals and creating opportunities for flow.

Ensure that team members feel that their voice matters through constant two-way honest and authentic communication channels.

Create instances that give employees the ability to gain understanding and significance in the work they do. For instance, show positive guest feedback to help people understand their impact on customer experience.

Allow for opportunities where employees feel more connected to their workplace by enabling them to have meaningful relationships with those around them- mentorship programs, creation of an EVP (Employer Value Proposition), Gemba Days, team building events; connectivity helps to identify as one tribe.

Foster a positive workplace culture by organizing events and activities that encourage team members to do things together, have fun and learn about themselves and each other.

Communicate meaningfully and purposefully and help people identify with authentic work- the type of role that would be in line with their values, desires, beliefs and motives.

Build a sense of belonging/pride and employer brand loyalty by applying for and winning lots of industry awards including best workplace, top employer and team of the year.

All these employee engagement initiatives are driven by research-based principles in positive psychology and organizational psychology and have purpose and meaning behind them. They may and should be used not only by the HR team, but also by supervisors, managers, department heads, leaders and CEOs. We are all responsible.


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Are your employees proud of their workplace?

In a constantly evolving society, the mode of work is quickly changing, and organizations that are not sufficiently agile are....